A New Beginning

Sunday, September 2, 2012





I remember the day my oldest daughter started grade one.  After two years of attending kindergarten for a few hours in the afternoon, she’d be at school most of the day.

I thought I was ready, but as I stood in the schoolyard I felt my eyes well up as she walked confidently into the school with the rest of her class.  She was growing up, and she was ready for it, but our lives would never be quite the same.

Today we are driving her to university, where she’ll be starting another stage of her life.  She is growing up, and she’s ready for it, but our lives will never be quite the same.

The hardest thing we do as parents is to prepare our children for a series of good-byes. Every time they move to a new stage of life, they become a little more independent and a little less reliant on us.  That’s the way it should be, but that doesn’t make it any easier as we wave good-bye.

On Mother’s Day of this year, my daughter gave me an envelope to be opened after she left for university.  After we wave goodbye to her this morning, I’ll open it and see what’s inside.  I’ll also pull out some old photo albums and revisit some of our special memories, including that first day of grade one where she set off into a new world with confidence.

30 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's so sweet your daughter left you the envelope to open. I agree that it so hard we must prepare our kids for leaving and starting their own lives. It's so hard after living together so long. I was thinking yesterday that my daughter (starting 10th grade) will only be here for 2 more Labor Days and then she'll be away at school by then. I'm trying to prepare myself for what will happen sooner than I want.

Belinda said...

Oh! Your daughter is so sweet. I'm sure there will be tears when you open it. What an incredible mom you are to raise such an incredible daughter!!

Kayte said...

What an adorable photo of your girls. Think of all the good times since then and know that more are to come! I had to do this last year and I wasn't sure how I was going to handle it but it went better than I expected and he's close enough that he can come home or we can go for a visit when the desire arises, a blessing in itself. It's been fun. Best wishes for a wonderful Freshman year for both of you!

Carol said...

That is such a lovely, thoughtful idea for the envelope! Such a bittersweet time, mine left two weeks ago and it took some getting used to. Best wishes to your daughter, very exciting time.

Deb said...

Hi Beth, I just sat down to compose a blog on the same subject - deep breaths mama - I said good bye on Wednesday. Still adjusting here. :)

Valerie said...

What a perfect, beautiful gift. Your daughter knows you well, and I'm sure she will always need her mom. (We all do.) xo

Gloria said...

She is so sweet. The next year my kids probably go to University and Im little afraid you know I know they have 18 but in my heart are still my littles:)

Kitchen Riffs said...

That envelope is such a nice gift! It's not only your children that you have to prepare for separation, it's yourself. And it's probably harder for you in some ways. Very sweet post - thank you.

Lizzy Do said...

Aw, sending you a big hug, Beth! I'm sure you'll be sending her a few care packages, too. What a thoughtful daughter to leave something special for you to open after you dropped her off at school...the thought of that made me teary. Something a son would never do...LOL.

Bonnie said...

Sending you hugs! I've been where you are and it is not easy. Rest in the knowledge you prepared her well for this phase of her life. Thinking about you!

Guru Uru said...

My friend, I am thinking about you - it must be hard to go through this phase but know you and her will always be there for each other :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Raina said...

I am tearing up as I read this beautiful, heartfelt post. So happy for your daughter to be starting her new journey but also understanding how you feel, as my son is starting college on Wednesday:)

Sue said...

This brought a lump to my throat as I read it:( It's such a tender time, but it's as it should be. I remember all too well the feelings, Beth. Have your tissue with you when you read the letter:) Hugs!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is a sweet post, but it's also scaring me. Two of my kids start middle school tomorrow (different schools), but before I know it, they'll be in university. Eek!

Make sure you have tons of Kleenexes ready for when you open the envelope. :D

yummychunklet said...

Sweet post.

profiterolesandponytails said...

Your post reminds me to enjoy every last minute of these years...as my youngest heads off to JK tomorrow!

Joanne said...

Congrats to your daughter! And to you...for raising her to be so awesome!

Angela Ackerman said...

This is so true, isn't it? It's hard to watch them grow up, yet excuiting to see them grow into the adults they will become. My oldest is in grade 11 this year, and I am constantly reminded how quickly the window is closing for us to spend time together.

Love the idea of the envelope--I'm sure there are some nice words in it which will carry you through any sadness you feel right now. :) Hugs!

Angela

Sylvia said...

Is a bittersweet feeling.For one side is nice , but for the other..well they are starting to left the nest.Lovely and sweet post

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Your daughter sounds so amazingly kind - love the idea of giving you an envelope to open. What a beautiful idea.

Cindy said...

How beautiful Beth. We help our children develop wings--but then they fly. It's really what we want but no one said it was easy.
We just married our baby--he's 23 so it's really ok. 6 children married living all over the US--and they took my grandchildren with them!
Life is good just different.

Barbara said...

I'm beginning to think I was an unnatural mother! I loved it when each went off to college. Reading (as we do every fall) about empty nest syndromes, I must admit I never felt that way. And besides, Beth, they keep coming back!! :) Even in their 50's!

Jenny Woolf said...

It is so nice that your daughter is thinking of your feelings with her envelope. This shows you have raised a really nice person, Beth. Well done to both of you!

Julie said...

I remember taking my son to college. I kept telling myself I wouldn't cry until I got back in the car but as we stood in the hall of the dorm as we were saying goodbye, I felt those tears welling up. Today 13 years later, he lives in Los Angeles and I still have those tears every time we say good bye. I am so proud of the man he's become but it is hard to say goodbye.

Sounds like you've raised an amazing girl!!

Food Gal said...

Such a sweet and wonderful post. No doubt, you prepared your daughter well for all the adventures that await her. ;)

Angie's Recipes said...

A lovely and sweet post, Beth. Like everybody said that you have raised an amazing gal.
Cheers,
Angie

grace said...

i got goosebumps reading this! what a sweet gesture, leaving you a special note to help you with the transition. i'll bet some tears were shed! :)

Claire Davis said...

How sweet and special that she wrote you a letter. That is a special relationship, my Mom is still one of my best friends. Good luck to her this semester!

nancy at good food matters said...

Hi Beth, I remember tearing up when I sent my daughter off for her first day of school. It is such a big step. When she went off to college, I remember my sigh of joy and relief--while parenting is ever ongoing, I knew that my job was done.

It's evident that you have a wonderful bond with your daughter that will only deepen over time.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, what a wonderful and very touching post - your daughter sounds like a very nice and thoughful person - I love the idea of the "envelope"!

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